December 28, 2012
Hotels hate me. I get that. We’ve been to two of them in the last two weeks and that naughty Hotel Elf definitely messed with me at both of them. We chose the first in New York City, the Hilton Garden Inn near Times Square, because of its proximity to the Broadway plays and great restaurants. We could walk to everything in the evening and that is a plus in the Big Apple.
The first night was uneventful and everyone slept well. My husband and I had a room that faced 8th Avenue, our son had a room on the other side of the hotel. The second night, however, at about 2:00 am, I was awakened by what sounded like someone knocking on a door somewhere along the long hall. After about an hour of listening to this persistent knocking about every ten minutes or so, I finally phoned Guest Services about this problem. This was New York and I was not about to open my room door and look for myself!
The hilarious experience of a dear friend was on my mind. At a reunion many years ago, our friend got locked out of his hotel room because his wife, who had retired to their room earlier than he did, had put the safety lock on the door, installed her ear plugs, and went to sleep. He couldn’t get in. She traveled in her job and without thinking about it, just followed her usual hotel door-locking protocol of many years. The hotel had to give Dick another room for the night as his wife couldn’t even hear the telephone through her ear-plug block of silence.
My husband heard the knocks, too, and he also thought about this funny past reunion event. At any rate, the hotel security officer made four frustrating trips to our hallway and observed nothing and no one. Finally, the front desk employee called us and asked if the officer could actually come into our room and see if he could hear what I was talking about. So, by now it is well after 3:00 am, and this security guy is standing in our room waiting for the knocks and probably thinking I had a screw loose when he finally heard the four loud knocks. He definitely heard them. He concluded it had to be air in the pipes above us since it could not be anything else. Air in the pipes? This had never happened to us before in all the years we’ve been staying in hotels. I thought knocking pipes only happened in peoples’ old houses. Apparently not.
Relieved that the knocking was not caused by someone having a locked-out problem, we made it through the next night hearing some knocks, but unworried about them. The hotel staff was really nice about this and said they added 20,000 points to my husband’s Hilton account to make up for our disrupted sleep.
Okay. Fast forward to Carmel, Indiana and another Hilton Garden Inn hotel. We always use this one because it is the closest to where our last remaining elderly lives and we three again were visiting for Christmas. Two nights passed uneventfully in our two rooms. The third night the smoke alarm woke me up, loudly cheeping. I phoned Guest Services to see what I should do about this.
The young woman who was the night manager came up with a fresh battery. Since this was Christmas Day night, no maintenance people were available and she was on her own. Neither of us could really reach this thing, but she was taller than I was and managed to get the pod off the wall, only to find it was tied into the electrical system. Obviously, the back-up battery was cheeping, but we could not see where it was supposed to be installed—too high.
My husband is deaf in one ear so he just turned over, slept on his good ear, and couldn’t hear a thing. I, on the other hand, was happy to take up the manager’s offer of a different room. She brought me back a new room key card. All is well, right? Wrong. When I went down the hall to the new room and opened the door, the light was on, the bed was turned back, and the iron was up on the ironing board. I quickly and quietly closed the door. Good grief!
Now I had to go down to the lobby in my nightgown and sweatshirt and see if there was another room that was unoccupied. This new room was on another floor, so I finally went to sleep in a quiet room knowing my husband and son have no idea where I am. I woke up to a blizzard and a free breakfast for my nocturnal inconvenience.
The staffs of both of these hotels were over and above nice folks. We’ll use Hilton again even if they do have an Elf.
Hope all is well on the way to the New Year. Thanks for joining me.